Reading Phoenix Choir has endured and been successful for 50 Years. This has been made possible through the amazing and dedicated people who have driven forwards the ambition to maintain the highest standards in choral singing, deliver superlative performances and keep that magical Phoenix experience.
Our 50th Season provides the perfect excuse to salute and thank all our current and past Phoenix People!
Christopher joined Reading Phoenix Choir as Musical Director in 2016 (48th Season). Christopher has a busy and varied conducting career working with all ages and abilities. In addition to being Musical Director of Reading Phoenix Choir he is also Musical Director of Harpenden Music Makers and Artistic Director of his own professional vocal ensemble Dieci Voices.
Christopher is passionate about encouraging young people to sing and is currently the Artistic Director of Berkshire County Youth Choirs (BCYC) and an Assistant Conductor for The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. BCYC consists of 180 of the best young singers from across Berkshire aged from 8 to 19 spread across three choirs; Berkshire Children’s Choir, Berkshire Young Voices and Berkshire Youth Choir. Other choirs he has worked with include the BBC Singers, The Choir of St Bartholomew the Great and The Choir of Brompton Oratory.
In addition to his conducting, Christopher is in great demand as a professional consort singer and teacher. He currently sings with a number of professional ensembles including Polyphony, The Eric Whitacre Singers, Platinum Consort, Philharmonia Voices, Cappella Nova and London Voices, as well as singing in some of London’s premier Church and Cathedral Choirs, such as Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, St Georges Chapel Windsor, The Tower of London, St Brides Fleet Street and The Brompton Oratory. He also teaches at The Royal Academy of Music and is head of Choral Singing at Wilson’s Grammar School.
David was Musical Director of Reading Phoenix Choir for 5 years until 2016 – during that time conducting nearly 100 concerts in Berkshire and surrounding counties.
David was instrumental in helping the choir to attain its new direction and achieve the highest ambitions of choral signing.
David is now the Musical Director of Opus 48, a new virtuoso choral society for Oxfordshire.
Norman Morris – Founder
Norman Morris was the founder of Reading Phoenix Choir and remained its musical director until his passing in April 2009. Just two weeks previously he had been conducting what was to be his final concert: a festival of choirs with the Reading Male Voice Choir, Reading Bach Choir, Basingstoke Ladies Choir and a children’s choir. In May the planned 40th-season celebratory concert changed into a memorial concert for Norman bringing many ex-Phoenix members back to sing some of Norman’s favourite pieces without a conductor and just a music stand there. Which, as Norman never used one, was most poignant.
Over those forty years the choir maintained its high reputation, mainly thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of Norman. In parallel with his selfless commitment to Phoenix, he was also a founder member of the Association of British Choral Directors, and Musical Director of Opera at Bearwood for ten years. He ran a “Singing from Scratch” course to encourage everyone to have belief in their own innate musical ability, and latterly became involved with an organisation called “Singing for the Brain”, helping Alzheimer’s sufferers and their carers.